CINCINNATI -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke doesn't see Scooter Gennett as a leadoff hitter, but thats where he slotted the 23-year-old second baseman on Sunday against the Reds.
Gennett led off for the second time in his rookie season, with the first such occasion coming on Wednesday against the Cardinals. Although he's been pleased with Gennett, Roenicke needs to see more from him before being sure that he can consistently bat at the top of the lineup.
"His batting average is basically going to carry his on-base [percentage]," Roenicke said, referring to Gennett's lack of walks. "But I see things getting better with him, and I think for him to be successful in the Major Leagues, he's going to have to start swinging at the pitch he wants to swing at. He's a good hitter. The problem with good hitters is they think they can hit any pitch. These guys, they've got pretty good stuff, so if you want to go up there and just swing the bat at everything, you're going to have a tough time here."
In 36 games entering Sunday, Gennett had taken just seven walks while striking out 21 times in 109 plate appearances. Roenicke said he doesn't expect Gennett to go to the plate looking for walks, but he does need to be better with his pitch selection.
The Brewers have been pleased with Gennett's offense, especially in his most recent stint with the team. Originally called up June 3, Gennett went back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A Nashville three times before being brought up for good on Aug. 9. Gennett batted .231 with a homer and five RBIs in his first 22 games. In the 14 contests (13 starts) since Aug. 9, Gennett was batting .426 (20-for-47) with four homers, nine RBIs and two doubles to go with three walks entering Saturday.
"I think, any time you're looking at young players and you see them developing, you see them getting better. That's what we try to do as a staff," Roenicke said. "That's our focus, trying to get players better. When you see them do that, that's the pleasure we get out of coaching."
Aoki gets extra rest on Sunday to nurse knee
CINCINNATI -- Norichika Aoki didn't ask for a day off on Sunday, but manager Ron Roenicke held him out of the starting lineup, anyway. The Brewers right fielder, who missed Wednesday's game with patellar tendinitis in his right knee, ended up pinch-hitting in the ninth inning of the Brewers' 3-1 win and was hit by a pitch.
"He's fine," Roenicke said before the game. "He could play today. I think it's maybe trying to get him completely healthy. We probably won't be able to, but this will help again."
With the Brewers out of action Monday before taking on the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Roenicke said he liked being able to give Aoki consecutive days off. Milwaukee also didn't play Thursday, giving Aoki four days of rest in less than a week.
Before the series opener against the Reds on Friday, Aoki said his knee was feeling better. He went out and proved it by going 3-for-4 and reaching base a total of five times. On Saturday, he went 1-for-4 before sitting out Sunday's finale.
"He's been fine playing the last couple days," Roenicke said. "With [center fielder Carlos Gomez] banged up and him a little bit, [too], I'd like to get him closer to 100 percent."
• Carlos Gomez was in the lineup Sunday for the third straight game after missing the previous six with a sprained right knee.
"I don't know if I'm surprised, but I'm happy that he's feeling well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Gomez. "He's bouncing back really well. You never know with a sprain like that, but he comes back the next day and walks in here and is feeling good. That's definitely a positive sign."
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.